Help to save the children

When disasters like bushfires or flooding strike it means that children are displaced from their homes.

When this happens, Save the Children, one of Australia's largest aid and development organisations, gives children the care and support they need so they can continue to learn and maintain a normal life, while their communities rebuild or they are re-settled.

Save the Children is often one of the first on the ground to provide emergency support.

Getting kids back into school and into a secure routine plays a key role in helping them cope with the trauma of having their lives and homes turned upside down and torn apart.

This includes responding to the devastating bushfires. Save the Children has set up almost a dozen child friendly spaces for affected children and families, and in the coming weeks and months will commence running programs in primary schools to support children's long-term emotional recovery.

You may know Save the Children through their op shops. Proceeds from these op shops support the organisation's work in NSW and throughout Australia, as well as dozens of countries overseas.

Save the Children's head of retail, Wayne Edis said.volunteering was a great way to give back, to meet new people from all walks of life and to do something really rewarding.

"At the same time, it makes an enormous difference to the lives of the children and families we work with, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds or have been struck by disaster."

Save the Children op shops, staffed by about 2,000 volunteers in 82 op shops across the country, offer a great range of good quality, affordable, second-hand clothing and items for sale.

All profits from their op shops go to supporting programs in Australia and overseas. Over the last six years op shops helped raise more than $6 million to support children and families in need.

"Save the Children's op shops make a genuine difference in our work and our ability to help people in need," Mr Edis said.

"If this sounds like something you'd like to be a part of and you have regular time you can commit, please get in touch and register your interest. Not only do our op shops provide local community members with a chance to give back, they also promote and move thousands of tonnes of recycled clothing each year, which helps lessen our impact on the environment."

Your can donate to Save the Children's bushfire response in-store or via savethechildren.org.au/bushfires.

Outside of bushfire response, Save the Children works in more than 200 sites across Australia. This includes running early learning programs to help children get ready to enter the school system, youth justice programs to help at-risk young people to turn their lives around and programs to support new migrants and refugees to settle into life in Australia.

Bowral Store Manager Di Gooch has asked volunteers to register their interest to help kids in need:

"We encourage locals to volunteer some of their time supporting the store that supports the community".

Regional Manager Cheryl Bowen said volunteering was very rewarding. "We have an extremely friendly and welcoming team in our stores. Not only will you meet new friends and learn new skills, you will also be helping disadvantaged kids."

To register your interest, visit the Banyette Street store or call (02) 4861 1383.

Helping children and families: Save the Children's work across Australia and overseas includes those affected by the bushfires. The agency is asking for volunteers to help their staff run Save the Children op shops for raising funds.

Helping children and families: Save the Children's work across Australia and overseas includes those affected by the bushfires. The agency is asking for volunteers to help their staff run Save the Children op shops for raising funds.

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